TANABATA  7th July

Have you ever heard TANABATA story? Did you wish something? We generally celebrate TANABATA on 7th July with writhing wishes on little colorful Origami papers and hang on bamboo. It is absolutely lovely view and you might see magnificent one in some festivals!! Today I’m going to introduce some stories of TANABATA and I’m happy if you got to like Japan more!


Once upon a time, there was a lovely princess, named Orihime (織姫・おりひめ), very good a weaver and Hikoboshi (彦星・ひこぼし) a cowherd, work very well. They get married because the king likes him after the king sees how Hikoboshi works hard. However the young couple got not to work hard like before after get married, just spend time to hang out all the time. It made the king furious then he made Amanogawa (天の川・あまのがわ) to make them separate. But then, both got not to work at all for sadness! So king told her that she will be permitted to see him a day if both work hard as same as before. It’s the day, 7th July. King arrange a magpie to across Amanogawa and finally they could meet together again… 

There are many stories but this is general one. And let’s find out other features. 


Usually we use cut colorful papers to write down wishes. But it is said that people used 5 colors papers and it came from Chinese tradition of nature philosophy. Although this ‘5 colors’ were Red-fire, black-water, blue-plant, white-mineral and yellow-earth, black changed to purple because of jinx, and green accepted as one of blue time by time. Then people try to hang tanzaku on bamboo as tall as possible as wished to reach stars.

This tradition is based on that Orihime was a very good weaver so people wished improve skill of sewing and it’s been wishing to stars since Nara era! What a surprised that a culture has been going on over 1000 years!

Decoration is also impressive. Each ornament has different meaning. 



Food and meals aren’t really known as  TANABATA’s culture, but if you know them you would get like to try!


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It’s very simple sweets came from China over 1000 years ago. Mixed wheat, rice powder, sugar then twisted and fry. Very simple isn’t it?


As you know Somen is one of typical food for summer! But who knows it came from Sakubei?! To eat Somen is still very famous especially in Sendai, Miyagi prefecture. “Sendai Tanabata Festival” has huge history, over 400 years keep having it and eating Somen is staple.



This is the most close sweets to SAKUBEI and ease to buy in stores. It is said the roots is China (or Netherlands). There are many kinds of KARINTOU especially in Tohoku area. If you visit there, it’d be great opportunity to feel deeper Japanese history!



Did you enjoy TANABATA? I hope you did! It one of specific famous summer culture and yes, I think  Orihime and Hikoboshi spent time together this year too. 

This blog brings you lots Japanese cultures that make you fanner if you like Japan!  


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